Councilor Ken Hare encourages creation of parks master plan

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BLOOMFIELD — Bloomfield residents may soon have a new playground for their children to enjoy.

The city has plans to install a playground at Vereda del Rio San Juan Park, located at the end of South 1st Street. The park is better known as the river park.

The city plans to enlist the help of volunteers to install fencing and playground equipment, but city staff members will perform the technical aspects, such as paving the parking lot.

Parks director Melinda Gomez told the City Council this week that the playground will be able to accommodate 35 to 45 children and will include two slides, climbing features, a bridge, and bongo and bass drums.

She said the work will be done in multiple phases. The first phase will be constructing the playground and the parking lot, while the second phase will be constructing a sidewalk to the restrooms.

The estimated cost of the project is $50,000.

The parks department is providing nearly $27,600 of the funding. The playground structure was bought using the recreation fund, which is generated through a fee for renting park structures, as well as donations and grants.

The lodger’s tax is providing $7,000 for the playground construction. Gomez said the department also has applied for an $11,000 grant from Lowe's home improvement stores.

The project will be the first playground the city has built in at least a dozen years, Gomez said.

Councilor Ken Hare encouraged forming or reconvening a committee to develop a parks master plan.

“We really probably do need a comprehensive parks master plan,” he said.

He said the east portion of Bloomfield has a large population but does not have a park.

He also encouraged looking at ways to generate more funding for parks, such as raising the amount of money people pay to a fund that supports the parks when they develop a piece of property in Bloomfield.

“Clearly, we’ve got needs, but the funding is an issue,” Hare said.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.

 

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